Finding things to be thankful for in the middle of a pandemic might sound a bit odd. But, if we don’t, we’ll all descend into the depths of depression and become basket cases of anxiety. So, let’s look at a few things we can be thankful for in order to keep things in perspective. The photos have little to do with most of the topics, but they are from my yard, so I’m sharing them and am thankful for the hope they represent.
This one is a mixed bag. More likely, everyone’s routine has been destroyed and frustration has set in with homeschooling or being around your spouse 24/7. There are a lot of parents out there thankful for teachers and day care workers about now. This is a time to embrace the chaos and admit to each other how challenging things are and learn how to see others’ perspectives. This is so much more than the occasional snow day. If you like being around your immediate family, then this is a blessing. With some work on everyone’s part, family dinners can return to the table. Communication can be opened, relationships can be strengthened and new traditions can be set. And that is something in which to be very thankful.
Isolation has a way of helping us identify priorities. I’m thankful that slowing down the pace of life helps me enjoy the blessing of simplicity. Suddenly my calendar is free and I don’t overcommit. Gone is the break-neck pace I’ve just accepted as part of life. When isolation is lifted, we would all be better to remember what we didn’t need during this time. I’ve always joked if I won’t voluntarily slow down, God will deliberately slow me down. Usually that means I get sick and can’t do anything….so, same difference.
Opposite of isolation is the opportunity to be a blessing to others. Offering to get groceries for neighbors who can’t get out, making masks for hospitals, delivering meals to school-age kids, drive by birthday parties or graduation parties makes for endless gratitude opportunities. The virus has tried to destroy human interaction but it could end up bringing us together in more meaningful ways by bringing out the best in human nature.
Spring simply cannot be canceled. Much like the recent Easter holiday, it will happen every year regardless of what is going on around it. Spring will come despite the worst case scenario. And, it’s a good thing too. Seeing the renewal of the earth and focusing on life and promise can’t help but increase serotonin in the brain, resulting in stabilizing mood and increasing happiness…and increased gratitude for the beauty of this world.
Be still and know…..
This pandemic has brought me closer to God , but only when I step back and realize His power can only be comprehended in the middle of chaos. It’s where I experience His peace most completely. When I stop trying to control the outcome of something out of my control, I understand this is God’s arena…this is where he moves and operates. This is where I can let go of fear and anxiety and find peace. Yes, it’s scary to admit I’m not in control of my life. Putting my trust in bank accounts and governments will only disappoint in the face of something like this. COVID-19 has stripped away the false sense of security I felt just a couple months ago. Be still. If I don’t, fear will have me in a vice grip. Be still. I have a choice how to approach what is happening. Fear or faith.
I think we’ll all be thankful when the stay-at-home orders are lifted. As humans, we were created for personal relationships and personal interaction. Zooming, texting and calling only go so far. And, I’m thankful for all those electronic methods of keeping in touch with loved ones. But, they become can become exhausting in and of themselves. We need personal touch to feel complete. Thank goodness for fur babies! 🙂
Thankful for the opportunity to participate in Thankful Thursday over at Brian’s Home.